ROTHERHAM ROARS: From tents to tech, Gala is a story of success

Jason Mace, of Gala Tent.
Jason Mace, of Gala Tent.

Jason Mace is one of the most natural entrepreneurs in Rotherham.

His track record of launching companies, hiring people and supporting other firms is probably second to none.

This story features in Rotherham Roars, The Star’s celebration of the borough’s booming economy, published Wednesday March 28.

ROTHERHAM ROARS IS ONLINE HERE

Throughout their lives, people are presented with opportunities to go into business, he believes. The difference is he takes them – and then works ridiculously hard to make them a success.

It all started with a mail order business run out of a former working men’s club 20 years ago. Then came, in no particular order, Gala Tent, Gala Graphics, the Double Barrel restaurant, Park View wedding venue, Gala Technology (SOTpay), motorsport supplier Gala Performance, Mace Group commercial property and the Empress building in Mexborough, which is home to seven independent firms – including gyms, a boxing club and a beauty salon – all of which are experiencing double digit growth, he says.

He added: “The opportunities are there for sure. How many times do you hear people say, ‘I had the same idea!’

“I don’t sleep and I put myself under too much stress, it’s just that one thing leads to another.”

The original enterprise, Gala Tent, is now one of the biggest marquee manufacturers in the country and a £10m turnover business which employs 35.

But it is Gala Technology which holds perhaps the most promise. Its SOTpay product offers a secure, fraud-free way to pay online. And with GDPR and a host of regulations looming, it has attracted the interest of international companies and major banks, Jason says.

He added: “We are looking at possibly multi-million pound contracts.

“I go to the Chamber meetings and hear some really huge plans for Rotherham – there just seems to be a lot happening at the moment.

“You just have to be prepared to put the work in and think long term – if you’re in it for the short term, forget it.”

This story features in Rotherham Roars, The Star’s celebration of the borough’s booming economy, published Wednesday March 28.

ROTHERHAM ROARS IS ONLINE HERE